Russian diplomat Ilya Barmin condemned the “unprecedented bias and politicization” of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Barmin said the interim high commissioner for human rights had mentioned Russia in Monday’s statement, “ignoring massive human rights violations in Europe, the United States and other countries of the collective West.”
Moscow withdrew from the Council after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in April suspending its membership of the Human Rights Council following the invasion of Ukraine.
However, Moscow has retained its observer status, so it has the right to respond to criticism leveled at it on Monday.
Mr. Barmin said that the OHCHR “continues to persistently ignore” evidence “of crimes committed by the Kyiv regime,” as well as “atrocities by Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries.”
In addition, “the OHCHR turns a blind eye to neo-Nazism in Ukraine, the ban on the activities of opposition parties and movements, the arrests and torture of opposition members, human rights defenders and public figures in Ukraine,” he asserted, repeating the Kremlin’s claim that Russian forces in Ukraine are fighting neo-Nazis.
I. Barminas also resented that the institution did not condemn “many cases” when Western-supplied weapons fired at civilian infrastructure and residents in the eastern Donbass region and Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
The territory of Europe’s largest nuclear facility has been shelled in recent weeks. With Ukraine and Russia blaming each other for the attacks, there have been fears of another nuclear disaster similar to the 1986 tragedy at Chernobyl.
The OHCHR “did not condemn the Western provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine. This clearly calls into question the impartiality of the OHCHR”, added I. Barminas.
Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif on Monday condemned Russian authorities’ persecution of people speaking out against the war in Ukraine, warning that such actions violate basic freedoms.
Speaking at the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council, which will last until October 7, N. al-Nashif condemned the Russian authorities’ “persecution and restrictive measures and sanctions against people who express their opposition to the war in Ukraine.”
Such actions “violate basic freedoms guaranteed by the constitution, including the right to freedom of assembly, expression and association,” the official emphasized.
N. al-Nashif has been tasked with acting as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights until Volker Turk, appointed to succeed outgoing UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, takes over.
N. al-Nashif also condemned “pressure on journalists, blocking of Internet resources and other forms of censorship”.
According to her, these actions are “incompatible with media pluralism and violate the right to access information.”
Ukrainian Ambassador Yevhenia Filipenko thanked N. al-Nashif for his “comprehensive overview of global human rights” and accused Russia of “holding human rights hostage” in pursuit of its malicious goals.
Russia is also ready to “threaten a nuclear catastrophe, harm global food and energy security, violate economic rights, incite unrest using disinformation and other means” to achieve these goals, the diplomat added.
“Consolidated pressure on the aggressor state should be the only option for all of us,” said Mr. Filipenko.
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